I never thought of myself as a playwright. But a few months ago, the Mayne Island Little Theatre challenged locals to write plays that were no longer than twenty minutes, had no more than three characters, and depicted a view of island life. These plays were to be submitted blind, no names attached.
Well, finding that a challenge was just what my writing needed at the time, I decided to give it a try.
I recalled a humourous experience while giving a ride to someone, and this became my first play.
My second play started life as a short story about the internment of Mayne Islanders of Japanese origins.
I enjoyed writing the plays, but was of two minds about submitting them. I rather timidly, and urged by friends, while not really expecting them to be chosen, entered them.
I was shocked when the theatre company’s readers selected both my efforts. Tomorrow and for the next two nights, my little darlings, along with three others by local writers, will be displayed for all to see.
You can probably imagine my excitement.
I just read about the difference between the income received by “pensioners” in Canada and that of a refugee. The author recommended we take from the refugee and give to pensioners. That, to me, is just robbing the poor to give to the poor. A better solution would be to take away from Senators who are, after all, mostly receiving pensions already, and giving it to the rest of us.
I already had lost respect for the lazy freeloaders who seldom show up for work, but the latest revelations of their greed erased any respect I still had for the institution.
If the Senators were paid by the hour, for the time they spend actually working, and the rest of their income were put into a fund to pay those of us who have contributed to our pensions for 40 or 50 years, they would still get their pensions like the rest of us, and a bonus every time they showed up for work. Fair? I think so.
We had a big scare yesterday. On the ferry going to Swartz Bay, my husband passed out. I thought of dialing 9-1-1 but knew that was pointless right away, so then I got out of the car and went looking for someone to tell a ferry worker to announce that we needed a doctor. The sensible-looking man I selected just happened to be a doctor! He examined my husband, who had come around again, took his pulse, and said I should take him to an emergency clinic. My husband and I switched places and when the ferry arrived, we drove to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital where the response was quick. In no time at all he was on a bed with sticky bits and wires all over him, attached to a monitor that measured his heart beats, oxygen level, and pulse, and took his blood pressure every so often. He was seen by a delightful nurse and a serious doctor, given blood tests, and released four hours later. We learned never to skip breakfast, especially after too few hours of sleep. This is something we’re going to have to deal with every time we take the 7:00 am ferry. We will.
She had so much to live for.
Doreen had reached the summit in her field of research. But she was still asking questions she wanted answers to. She would have followed another line of research had she lived. I can’t remember what it was. She told me, but because I’m not a scientist, I forget what it was. Maybe it had to do with her interest in evolution.
Speaking of evolution, what sense can I make of our human evolution? In order to accommodate our big heads, our mothers deliver us at an acutely dependent stage of development; our big brains have survival value. We learn and learn, explore and create, grow intellectually, until we die. Death does not seem like a sensible end to creatures with all that brain development.
Doreen enjoyed life. She had one of the liveliest intellects of anyone I ever knew. Her body, however, fell apart and no longer supported her.
I have no answer. I’m not sure I even have a question. But she should have lived longer, much, much longer. I can’t make sense of any of this. Can you?
Jul 02, 13
Young teen, Magda, has her hands full these days. Not only does she have a part-time job looking after a neighbor’s chickens, but she wants to investigate the truth behind an allegedly haunted house. There are rumors that the deceased owner was a nasty man whose wife and five children disappeared one day. Had they left him, or were they murdered?
Magda’s sleuthing skills are also needed in a very real problem when her friend Brent is accused of stealing First Nations artifacts from someone’s home. Brent’s been in trouble before and his mother has decided that he’s unmanageable, so Brent runs away to avoid jail or a foster home. The police and Magda’s mother pressure her to turn Brent in if she sees him, but Magda refuses. She intends to prove he’s innocent.
Mayne Island Skeletons is a mystery for readers aged ten to thirteen, or for reluctant readers. Mayne Island is one of the smaller southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and BC’s mainland, and a terrific setting. There is a real community feel to this story and a pace that reflects the lifestyle of the 1,000+ residents.
Magda has common traits to any great sleuth: curiosity, intelligence, and bravery, but she also has a lot of compassion. Although this book deals with modern day issues such as neglectful mother, First Nations artifacts, and to a lesser degree, the melting ice caps and endangerment to polar bears (through letters from a friend in the Arctic), this book reminds me of a Nancy Drew novel. It’s partly because of the story’s pace but also because Magda’s so polite and well mannered; something not often see in novels today. On the other hand, you’d never see a neglectful mom or a First Nations issue in a Nancy Drew novel, so I’d call this book a lovely blend of old and new.